Mini-Review: Zoom Boom the Scarecrow and Friends (Zoom Boom #1) by Joel Brown
Zoom Boom, the scarecrow is a fictional character who lives on a magical farm with his many farm friends. The caretakers of the farm, farmer Don and his wife are very happy that Zoom Boom lives on the farm. He helps many of the farm animals, to include those pesky crows stay out of trouble. Zoom Boom is always there to assist and help the animals. However, he learns a lot from them also, such as how to save money and how to recycle. Zoom Boom main focus is teach children lessons from everyday life which will help them make wise choices, and be nice to others.
Title - Zoom Boom the Scarecrow and Friends
Author - Joel Brown
Pages - 28 Pages
*I was sent this book from the author in trade for an honest review.*
Thank you Joel for kindly sending me a copy of not just this book but also the other two in the series!
This book features a scarecrow called Zoom Boom, who works on the farm looking after all of his friends and making sure they keep out of trouble. In this particular book you get to meet all of the characters including the pesky crows, who are always having to be saved by Zoom Boom, and get a taste for what Zoom Boom actually does to help his friends.
The illustrations were a part of this book that I absolutely adored - they were bright, bold and overall just fun. They really added to the story and just awesome to look at. Overall, Garrett Myers definitely did a great job with the illustrations.
The characters were quite important to this book and I'm so happy that they turned out great. All the characters had something memorable about them and I think that for a children's book is a very important thing - the children will remember their favourite character etc.
The characters were also well illustrated and overall each character had their own individual personality which all worked well together.
As I really enjoyed this book, I decided to give it a 4/5!
I would definitely recommend this to parents for their young children as it would make a great bedtime story and overall it's just a lot of fun.
Important Extra Notice
I will be doing an interview with Joel Brown, the author of the Zoom Boom books. very soon so if you have any questions for him to answer then comment them down below or DM them to me on Instagram (@sprinkle_of_books)/comment on the Q&A question notice post.
Zoom Boom the Scarecrow and Friends by Joel Brown
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26895035-zoom-boom-the-scarecrow-and-friends?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Zoom-Boom-the-Scarecrow-and-Friends-Joel-Brown-Garrett-Myers/9780996608312?ref=bd_ser_1
Spoiler-Free Review: Dark Escape by Eileen Sheehan
DARK ESCAPE begins the story of innocence, love, deceit, and wonder. When nineteen year old Tara O’Shea moves into a dilapidated country estate she inherited from her grandmother, two handsome men come into her life. While both are vying for her love, one is actually a demonic soldier who has an ulterior motive. He is stalking her in order to gain possession of a crystal key that, unbeknownst to her, is hidden somewhere in her house. This very special key has the power to lock or unlock the portal to the evil Shadow Land. Fearing he’s losing ground to her other suitor, the soldier forces the issue with the help of his demonic creatures. Escaping is no easy task! She’s grateful for the assistance of a magic woman, but will it be enough?
*I was sent an ebook copy from the author in trade for an honest review*
Thank you Eileen for sending me a copy!
The plot was very interesting and quite different to previous things I've read. There were some surprises along the way but there was also some guessable turns, however it was still a lot of fun.
I felt that there was a good storyline underneath everything and it turned out really well in the end because everything else (characters, pace, writing style, etc) worked well together creating a great story.
Eileen told me that this is actually only half of the original first book. The publisher/editor thought that the story would be better as two books instead of one. After reading this first part, I'm just hoping that the great storyline can continue in part two. We'll have to see!
If you remember when I reviewed The Vampire, The Handler and Me (also by Eileen), the characters was one of the problems I had with the story. I remember that I really disliked the main character and she seemed to make stupid mistakes and overall I just didn't connect to her whatsoever.
Well, I'm really happy to say that I didn't have these problems this time whatsoever. I really loved all of the characters and each one had something special about them. There were a few characters that I wished there'd been more about, mainly Maggie as I found her really interesting and wanted to know more about her and there felt like there was something that was kept secret about the friendship between her and Tara but I may be wrong. I'm hoping maybe there'll be something that unravels in part two.
Tara was the main character of this story and she was so different to Lizzy from The Vampire, The Handler and Me and it was soo great. The main problem that I had with Lizzy was that she made quite stupid decisions. However, with Tara there was actually good reason behind her decisions especially the one at the end with her horse and what Maggie was asking her to do. I have a similar relationship with my puppy to what Tara had with her horse, Sugar (I think she was called. I cant remember, sorry!) and I totally understood why she couldn't do what Maggie wanted her to do. I connected with her and ended up really loving her character.
Overall, I really loved the characters but just wish that maybe there was some more depth to some of them but maybe that'll come in part two!
One of the things that I actually enjoyed about The Vampire, The Handler and Me was the writing style and I was glad to see that that hadn't changed in this novel.
It was the same calm writing but when it came to exciting/action parts, Eileen was able to deliver the perfect amount of tension and carry out the scenes very well. This showed just how much of a great writer she was and created contrast within the story.
Another problem that I had with The Vampire, The Handler and Me was the pacing. Eileen told me afterwards that the pacing wouldn't be any different in Dark Escape as it was already really far into the editing process and the main writing part was already done. However, the pace was near perfect this time despite that so I have no idea what happened with that but it was soo much better.
Don't get me wrong, there was still one or two slow parts here and there but nothing major. Overall, the pace was very near perfect and it really helped the story along and added to my enjoyment.
As you can see, I enjoyed this novel much better than the previous one I read and therefore I will be giving a higher rating. When I first finished Dark Escape, I really didn't know what to rate it. I knew that the rating would be nearer to 5/5 but didn't what the exact rating I wanted to give was.
Writing this review helped me to gather my thoughts on this book and I think I've finally worked out a suitable rating.
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29425575-dark-escape
Eileen's Website - http://www.sheehan-author.info
I'm actually writing this halfway through the month in an attempt to get it up on time at the end of the month. When I finish a book I'm just adding it in down below and hopefully that should help me still have the book fresh in my mind.
Anyway, as I'm pre-writing this I don't really know how this reading month is going to turn out, but so far it's been really slow and I haven't really read much, but I'm hoping that'll change soon.
If you're not sure how my wrap-ups work, they are in order from my least favourite books of the month to my favourite books of the month and in between that they are also split up into three different sections: finished reading, read and started reading.
Let's get into the wrap-up!
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury - 204 Pages
I started reading this in January and got around 132 pages in, so I read the rest at the start of this month. This was a re-read for me in preparation for the release of The Sleeping Prince, the sequel and I gave my re-read a similar rating to the original rating.
When re-reading this I did still notice the same issues that I had last time with this book, pacing and a slow beginning, but that doesn't stop my love for this book.
I'm now really excited to jump into The Sleeping Prince!
Rate - 3.75-4/5
Original Review - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/spoiler-free-review-the-sin-eaters-daughter-by-melinda-salisbury
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Sin-Eater-s-Daughter/9781407147635
Should I do a review for my re-read or just stick with my original?
The Lost Hero of Cape Cod by Vincent Miles - 30 Pages
I was stuck on what section to put this in - read or started reading - because I actually didn't finish this book and I probably won't anytime soon. I didn't DNF it because it's bad because it really isn't but it just isn't for me.
I did get sent this for review from the very kind author, thank you! I have still written a short review for this, which will be coming soon as I felt bad that I just couldn't get through it.
The book for what it is is brilliant, but I just didn't understand it, found it confusing and overall just couldn't get myself to carry on. Because of these reasons, I actually didn't want to read and could feel myself slipping into a reading slump (part of the reason why the first half of this reading month has been really slow), but I did try to get a bit further however I just couldn't carry on.
This book is a historical biography of Captain Asa Eldridge, an important (but not mentioned nearly enough) figure from the Maritime trade in America. I found the premise to be interesting and that's why I accepted it for review. I would still recommend this as I know I didn't like it because of me.
As I didn't finish the book, I didn't think it was fair of me to rate it and hopefully you'll understand that.
Rate - NO RATING
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28001621-the-lost-hero-of-cape-cod?ac=1&from_search=1
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Lost-Hero-of-Cape-Cod/9780962506888
IA Initiate by John Darryl Winston - 219 Pages
I was actually sent a signed copy (along with two bookmarks) from John in trade for a review, thank you so much! What I didn't mention though is that I got sent this back in September/October and I have only just read it...
Anyway, haha. I've been meaning to read it for so long and this month I finally picked it up in order to remove some of my guilt.
The book follows a young boy who goes by the name of 'Naz'. He lives with his sister Meri in foster care due to their very troubled past. Naz sees himself as an ordinary teenager, but he isn't really that as he sleepwalks every night and hears voices along with other things. His goal in life is to protect his little sister and get her out of the Exclave, a bad area in which they live, as soon as possible and give her a good future.
This becomes hard for Naz as he has become a target of a group of dangerous people and he experiences a series of vicious attacks. Through this journey as well, he discovers things about him and his past that he never knew existed.
This is a first in a trilogy (I think?) and I really enjoyed it and also as a bonus, I was able to finish this really quickly. I will definitely be continuing with the series and can't wait to see where the next book goes.
My review will be coming very soon! (When I actually write it...)
Rate - 4.25/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21471358-ia?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
BD - NOT AVALIABLE
Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - 238 Pages
This is one of the books that wasn't on my February TBR at the start of the month, but I do have a reason for reading it.
I had always wanted to read this and it's been on my wishlist since I got properly back into reading last year, though I had never got round to actually buying it. However, the other day I was browsing through Netflix as you do and I saw that the movie for this was on there and I had an urge to watch it, but I knew I had to read the book first. However, I also knew that I wasn't going book shopping any time soon and that it would take a while for it to come if I ordered it online, so I decided to see whether my local library would have it in stock.
I don't know if this is the case with most library services, but our county (it also shows out of county, though you have to pay more for books to come from there) library service shows you what books each library has in the area. You search a book and it will come up with a list of libraries that have that book in stock. This allows you to reserve it at that library or request it to be sent to your library. Luckily Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List was available in my county so I didn't have to pay a couple of pounds for it and also I'm under 16 so I don't have to pay the 50p normal in county fee.
When the book arrives the library then phone you and luckily for me the book arrived within a day so I was able to pick it up and read it.
While reading this I wasn't actually sure whether I was enjoying it or not, but by the end I knew that I did enjoy it but just not as much as I originally thought I would. When I started reading I became worried as it seemed the main part of the book had began in the first 10 pages and I was worried that it was going to be slow and just ugh, but luckily it wasn't like that and there was actually a point to the book. I will admit there was some slow parts towards the middle. Another problem I had was with the perspective changes of the book. Don't get me wrong, I love a range of different perspectives (POVs) in a book as long as the author (s) does a great job of it. Unfortunately, the authors didn't do a good job of it and there were some really pointless POVs that didn't add anything to the story.
However, there were still some good points and therefore I still gave it an okay rating.
Rate - 3.5/5
I don't know whether to do a review for this or not so if you would like to see a review (or maybe a mini-review) then comment down below!
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23230.Naomi_and_Ely_s_No_Kiss_List?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Naomi-and-Ely-s-No-Kiss-List/9780375844416
Zoom Boom the Scarecrow and Friends (Zoom Boom #1) by Joel Brown and illustrated by Garrett Myers - 28 Pages
I was sent this for review from the author, thank you Joel!
This is the first book in a picture book series starring a scarecrow "hero" named Zoom-Boom who's always keeping his friends safe from trouble/danger.
I thought this idea was pretty cool as I've only seen scarecrows in stories/films to be stupid, creepy etc. Meanwhile, Zoom Boom is quite the opposite - he's smart, funny and cares for all of his friends.
As it is a picture book, I was able to read this in like 10 minutes, but I actually really enjoyed the story and especially the illustrations. Garrett Myers did an excellent job with the illustrations - they were bright, bold and fun.
I don't want to talk too much more about this as I do have a review coming soon and also a Q&A with Joel.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26895035-zoom-boom-the-scarecrow-and-friends?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Zoom-Boom-the-Scarecrow-and-Friends/9780996608312
Be Tidy or Not? (Zoom Boom #2) by Joel Brown and illustrated by Garrett Myers - 28 Pages
Along with Zoom Boom the Scarecrow and Friends, Joel also sent me two other books and Be Tidy or Not? is one of them.
This one is also part of the Zoom Boom series though it didn't have Zoom Boom in at all (from what I can remember anyway) but instead featured two of his friends, Dirty Bird and Charm.
From the title and names of the two characters you probably know which character is tidy and which one isn't, but you're probably wrong. Dirty Bird isn't dirty at all meanwhile Charm is extremely untidy. I liked the fact that the author did this as it should help children understand and remember the 'don't judge a book by its cover' phrase.
Though these characters are completely different in their tidiness and also other things, they are best friends and towards the end of the book the author explains the importance of friendship, but also that just because you may be different doesn't mean you can't be friends. I think this is an important message not just for young children but for the majority of people and in my opinion the author used that in a superb way an done that will stick in a young person's mind
Also, just like the book before the illustrations in this one were brilliant and some of them were quite humorous as well.
I will talk about this book more in my review so make sure you watch out for that.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26895036-be-tidy-or-not?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Be-Tidy--or-Not-/9780996608329
Be Careful (Zoom Boom #3) by Joel Brown and illustrated by Garrett Myers - 28 Pages
This is the final book that Joel sent me for review (thank you!) and it's about road safety and how you should always look for warning signs and listen to what you're told.
I agree with the fact that it is an important subject and especially to children at a young age and I think that Joel wrote about it in a way that a young child would definitely remember and think about it more often.
Despite this, I found this book to be my least favourite out of the three and therefore I did give it a lower rating than the other two.
Just like with the other two books, I will have a review (or maybe a mini-review) up for this soon so make sure to watch out for that.
Rate - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26895037-be-careful?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Be-Careful-Joel-Brown-Garrett-Myers/9780996608336?ref=grid-view
Dark Escape by Eileen Sheehan - 63 Pages
M is For Magic by Neil Gaiman - 22 Pages
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne - 50 Pages
What was your favourite book that you read in February?
Total Pages - 910 Pages
Spoiler-Free Review: The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who #1) by Justin Richards
Title - The Clockwise Man (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #1)
Author - Justin Richards
Pages - 253 Pages
Synopsis - In 1920s London the Doctor and Rose find themselves caught up in the hunt for a mysterious murderer. But not everything is what it seems. Secrets lie behind locked doors and inhuman killers roam the streets.
Who is the Painted Lady and why is she so interested in the Doctor? How can a cat return from the dead? Can anyone be trusted to tell - or even to know - the truth?
With the faceless killers closings in, the Doctor and Rose must solve the mystery of the Clockwise Man before London itself is destroyed...
A few months ago I hauled a box set of 10 Doctor Who books, which I had found at my local charity shop. Ever since then, I've been meaning to read them, but just never picked them up. When I was setting up for my January TBR, (which I never posted as it randomly deleted :( ), I remembered about these books, and I decided that one of my 'bucket list' books/series to read this year was this one. I put the first book (The Clockwise Man) on my TBR for the month, but as you probably know I'm really bad at sticking to my monthly TBRs, but I am getting better. Due to that fact, I didn't really think I'd read it, but to my surprise I picked it up and was immediately hooked and here I am writing my review.
As I mentioned above this is a Doctor Who story/mystery thing. I've never really watched the TV show apart from seeing random glimpses when I was younger as my brother used to watch it. As I haven't properly watched the show, I was hesitant to start the books as I thought I would be really confused with the characters, plot etc.
This particular story is set in the 1920's in London. The book starts off with a prologue, in which we meet a middle-aged man named Peter Dickinson. He starts off telling a story about what his mother used to tell him about black cats.
Peter Dickinson learned the truth about black cats from his mother. 'If a black cat comes up to you,' she said to him, 'then that's lucky that is. But if it only comes part-way, then turns back...If it has burning green eyes...' she sucked in her breath and shook her head. "They say that your father saw a black cat that morning, on the way to his ship. I reckon it had green eyes. I reckon he should have come home that moment, like any sensible sailor. He's still be here now if he'd paid attention to that black cat."
Then it switches to what's going on in the TARDIS where Rose and the Doctor are preparing to enter 1920 London. They have a bit of a conversation and then it switches back in time to see the last part of Dickinson.
And to his amazement, as the chiming stopped, he was sure he could hear the ticking of Big Ben, marking off the remaining seconds of his life.
This then starts the story off and marks the moment where the Doctor and Rose are thrown into madness on their mission to solve a series of murders that's been happening recently.
Going into this book, I thought I was going to be confused by the characters as I hadn't read the previous books or watched the show (though I really want to!). I was completely wrong; I found the characters easy to understand and their personalities were easy for me to distinguish without any extra information.
I loved so many of the characters, but two of my favourites are Freddie and the Doctor.
I loved the Doctor because of his personality. I found him to have a good sense of humour, but at the same time he was smart and got distracted easily as he got sucked into his own world. You could tell he cared for Freddie and Rose, even if he didn't always show it.
Despite the fact that I did love the doctor, my upmost favourite has to be Freddie. The amount his character grew and strengthened throughout the book was unbelievable. He started off as a nervous, but smart and curious boy when he first met Rose. By the end, he was this strong, brave boy, who was willing to help others even if it risked his own life. I loved and appreciated the change of his character and I feel like Richards did an excellent job with adding this different side to Freddie's character. I feel like he did it in a way that I actually felt proud of Freddie for making that leap. I also felt connected to Freddie, but not just in a reader to character way, I felt as if I was his friend, helping him along the way. To go along with this, I was completely invested in the story to a point where I completely forgot about the real world. A book that can do that is really special.
Overall, these characters were well-created and thoughtfully planned out. Richards did a great job, by not just making the characters unique, but also by giving them their own person and making them even easier to love by the reader.
I thought going into this book, that I would be confused because I had no idea whether there would be references to past Doctor Who stories. Luckily, the book had no references to past books - it was it's own story.
I found there to be no dull moments in the book and there was always something happening. I was surprised by how quickly I became invested in the story and the characters. However, some of the outcomes/problems were pretty guessable, but other than that it was a fun and entertaining story.
I did absolutely love this book, plot and characters. Everything was brilliant and I can't wait to read more in the series, though some of the other books are written by different authors, which should be interesting.
After I finished reading the book, I went straight onto Goodreads to see what other people had thought of it. I was shocked to find quite a lot of mediocre/low ratings (though there were a lot of 4 star ratings as well). I read through some of the bad reviews and I found myself completely disagreeing with some of the comments they were making. Oh well, not everyone's going to love a book, but I wish more people would read this and hopefully love it as well. I feel like some people would be hesitant about picking these up because they're Doctor Who books and so many people love the show that they don't fell a need to read the books, but they really are awesome and I hope more of you guys decide to pick it up and read it.
I loved it so much that I'm going to give it a 5/5. I didn't even feel a need to think about the rating, as soon as I was finished reading I set it to a 5/5. I thought that maybe a couple of days later I might feel the need to lower the rate, but it's now like 2+ weeks since and I've got the complete opposite feeling - if I could higher the rate even more, than I wouldn't even have to think about it, of course I would higher it.
Anyway, I totally recommend this and I hope more of you guys give it a try as I would love to hear what you think of it.
BUY THE BOOK
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/678074.Doctor_Who?ac=1&from_search=1
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Doctor-Who--The-Clockwise-Man/9781849905442
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